Santa Ana Drowning Injury Lawyer
Few tragedies strike deeper at a community and cause more emotional suffering to victims and their families than accidental drownings. It’s not just that drownings take lives and leave survivors with serious brain injuries: It’s also that the majority of drownings are so easily preventable. Often, all it would have taken to avoid a tragedy was a simple warning sign, a lock on a poolside gate, or a lifeguard paying attention to bathers instead of texting on while on duty.
At Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, our Santa Ana drowning injury lawyers believe in holding people, corporations, and governments accountable when their poor decisions lead to accidental drownings. As experienced attorneys, we see it as our mission to help drowning victims and their families recover compensation for the injuries, pain, and loss inflicted by accidental drowning. In so doing, we also aim to help ensure the broader community takes steps to prevent drownings in the future.
If you or your family have suffered the agony of accidental drowning, contact us today to learn more about your rights.
Aitken * Aitken * Cohn – Legal Advocates for Injured Californians
In Southern California, the law firm of Aitken * Aitken * Cohn enjoys a reputation for legal excellence and determined advocacy on behalf of injured Californians and their families. Collectively and individually, our Santa Ana drowning injury attorneys have earned the highest honors from clients and peers in the legal community, including recognition as a top-tier “Best Law Firm” as determined by U.S. News & World Report, and a preeminent “AV” rating by legal publisher Martindale Hubbell. These are the marks of the very best law firms in America, and we’re proud to have achieved them for many years running.
The honors we’ve earned stem from our relentless advocacy on behalf of injured clients and their loved ones, especially in cases involving preventable tragedies like drownings. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients through settlements and jury verdicts. Although we can never guarantee a result in a particular case, we can confidently say that when the other side in a lawsuit sees we’re involved, our clients get the respect and consideration they deserve.
The Tragedy of Accidental Drowning
As the country’s preeminent public health organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiles statistics on unintentional drownings. According to CDC data, nationally about 10 people die per day from accidental drowning. Many of those deaths occur in pools, and many of the victims are children. The Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission publishes annual statistics of child pool and spa deaths, and California consistently ranks among the worst states in the nation for those tragedies. Additionally, as the CDC observes, even when people survive drowning incidents, they often suffer severe brain injuries that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).
Accidental Drowning Risk Factors
The CDC reports that men, children under 14, and minorities have the highest rates of unintentional drownings, although the reasons for these rates can vary. In any given case, according to the CDC, one or more of the following factors can influence the risk of accidental drowning:
- The swimming ability of potential victims;
- Whether pools or other water bodies have fences or other barriers preventing access to them;
- Whether swimmers are supervised;
- Where the water body is located;
- The availability and use of personal floatation devices;
- Alcohol use by swimmers or supervisors; and
- Whether swimmers have seizure disorders.
Whose Actions Can (and Should) Prevent Accidental Drowning
As personal injury lawyers, the team at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn spends a significant portion of our lives thinking and advocating about actions people can, and should, take to prevent injuries to themselves and others. Like most other tragic incidents, drownings are not inevitable. Most often, they result from poor decisions. Sometimes, it is the drowning victim who makes a mistake, such as when a beachgoer ignores warnings of a rip current or goes swimming while intoxicated. That is why we encourage all Californians to learn to swim, to educate themselves about swimming dangers, and to learn CPR.
CDC research shows these are among the most effective ways to prevent a drowning tragedy.
Oftentimes, however, someone else’s decision puts an otherwise capable swimmer at risk of drowning.
- Property owners who have a pool or other body of water on their premises have a duty to anticipate and prevent misuse of the water, especially by children. That means putting up fencing, locking gates, and taking other precautions to make sure children do not try to swim unattended, and that the public does not venture into water known to be unsafe for swimming.
- Supervisors and lifeguards at a beach or poolside must act responsibly to ensure the safety of others, especially children. That means not leaving a guard post unattended, not drinking excessive alcohol while children play in the water, and not becoming so distracted by texts or apps that they ignore what is going on around them.
- Equipment manufacturers who produce consumer goods related to water recreation, from pool builders to life jacket makers, have an obligation to the public not to put unsafe and defective goods into the “stream of commerce” where they will predictably injure someone.
- Municipalities and government agencies with jurisdiction over water bodies and beaches have a duty to take steps to keep the public safe, such as by closing bodies of water to swimming because of unsafe conditions or the unavailability of public safety services.
- Boaters must make sure they comply with rules of water navigation, including by requiring the use of personal floatation devices, avoiding consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs, and taking caution while operating a boat in swimming areas, to name a few.
This is not a complete list, of course. Whenever people have access to a body of water, there is a risk of accidental drowning because of someone else’s poor choices.
Our Role as Lawyers in the Wake of a Tragic Accidental Drowning
At Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, we have counseled many clients through the tragedy of an accidental drowning. It’s some of the most difficult work we do as advocates, but also some of the most necessary. An accidental drowning shatters lives and causes unimaginable pain. As legal counselors, we know we cannot heal that pain directly. But, we also recognize that through our efforts, we can help our clients recover the financial resources they need to move forward with their lives and to hold accountable anyone whose negligence resulted in the tragedy. Here are some of the ways we serve our clients’ interests in accidental drowning matters.
Just like our clients, as lawyers, we want to know what led to a tragic, accidental drowning. Unlike our clients who are often grieving, however, at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn our team has the resources and experience to conduct a thorough and careful investigation to understand how the tragedy unfolded and whose decisions affected it. We routinely work with medical forensic experts, safety consultants, and engineering specialists to discover what went wrong that led to drowning. Our goal is to make sure we identify every party who may have a legal liability to our clients, and that we collect the evidence necessary to prove liability in a court of law if need be.
An accidental drowning turns our clients’ lives upside down. As legal advocates, we know one of our roles is to make sure our clients have the support they need to make informed, sometimes difficult, decisions that may affect their legal rights and financial wellbeing. When you choose Aitken * Aitken * Cohn for your legal representation, you get a team dedicated to answering your law-related questions with compassion and diligence. When you have an issue that’s beyond our expertise or area of practice, we work with our network of experts and service providers to help you find solutions that respond to your needs.
A significant portion of our jobs as Santa Ana personal injury attorneys consists of negotiating with insurance companies and opposing attorneys to achieve a fair and just settlement of our clients’ legal claims. Negotiation is half art, half science. At Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, we take pride in our powers of persuasion, but we also recognize the necessity of arming ourselves with evidence and legal precedent to make our clients’ cases to the representatives of those who have a legal liability to them.
One particular area of focus in which we excel in establishing damages our clients should receive for the destruction wrought by accidental drowning. Frequently, we team with financial and medical experts to help us in the often grim, but necessary, task of calculating what our clients’ claims are “worth” when a drowning involves a fatality or leaves its victim with permanent disabilities, on long-term disability and long-term medical needs. Armed with sophisticated analyses, we make our case to insurance adjusters and opposing counsel, urging them to use reason and empathy to make a fair offer in settlement.
As Trial Lawyers
In truth, most of our cases settle as a result of our efforts. That is simply the nature of civil litigation. Sometimes, however, the other side refuses to listen to reason and facts. In those cases, the team at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn has no hesitation about bringing our clients’ claims to state or federal court, or arbitration panels, to achieve a just outcome. We are trial lawyers, through-and-through, and relish the opportunity to argue a case before the court when that’s what it takes to get justice.
As Zealous Advocates
In every facet of our legal practice, we put our clients’ interests above all other considerations. Our firm commits itself to represent only victims of personal injury because we believe that is where our talents best serve the public. We’re never afraid to hold the largest insurance companies or corporate bigwigs accountable. In fact, we jump at the opportunity. It’s a reflection of our core value of serving as zealous advocates for the rights of injured Californians and their families.
Seek Legal Assistance As Soon as Possible After a Drowning Injury
If there was one piece of advice we would give every person struggling with the overwhelming tragedy of a drowning injury, it would be this: call a skilled, compassionate personal injury attorney as soon as you are able. We understand it may feel awkward to make a lawyer one of your first calls after tragedy strikes, but for a variety of important reasons, it is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family:
- To preserve evidence. By their nature, drowning accidents tend to leave relatively little evidence. What evidence does exist risks being destroyed or lost soon after the incident. Pool owners, for instance, will rush to fix an unsafe condition, and defective floatation devices may end up in the garbage instead of preserved in an evidence room. There is no failsafe way to preserve every shred of evidence, but calling an attorney right away after a tragic incident gives you the best hope of making sure no one can “cover-up” facts that point to legal liability.
- To protect yourself. In the aftermath of a drowning accident, victims and their families frequently find themselves on the receiving end of unexpected, unwelcome attention from news reporters, insurance adjusters, and local law enforcement investigators. These interactions can feel overwhelming and confusing, and they often compound already-intense suffering. A skilled personal injury lawyer can stand between you and those prying eyes, managing their access to you in a manner that best serves your personal and legal interests.
- To enforce your legal rights. The moment tragedy strikes, a clock starts ticking on your ability to take full advantage of the protections the law gives you. Depending upon the circumstances, you might need to act within a matter of months to assert your legal claims. On a practical level, the sooner you act the more likely it is your case will receive priority attention from insurance companies and opposing attorneys.
Speak To A Santa Ana Drowning Injury Lawyer
Do not wait to call on the experienced, compassionate trial lawyers at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn when a drowning accident upends your life. We offer a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation and represent most of our clients on a “contingent fee” basis in which we collect our fees only if we recover compensation on their behalf. Call us today at (866) 434-1424 or email us at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn online to learn more.